Scroll to the bottom for a list of Sugar Free Recipes + Resources
Preparing for Sugar Free February
I just ate a whole 100g bar of chocolate, half a tub of Alpro yogurt and 2 Boost balls (from my Health Bloggers Community goodie bag). Why? Because tomorrow is the start of Sugar Free February. That means that I will be staying away from sugar for a whole 28 days (thankfully it’s not a leap year!).
It’s probably not the best idea to overdose on sugar before I cut it out almost completely, but I’m only human! Plus I couldn’t deal with knowing that I had chocolate in my flat and not eating it for a month!
I want to cut sugar out for health reasons and as a challenge. Eating too much sugar has been associated with the development of chronic diseases and other health problems. Whilst I probably eat less sugar than most of the population, my consumption seems to have been creeping up recently, so I’ve decided to go cold turkey!
Luckily, I know quite a lot about ‘hidden’ sugars in things that you might not expect, for example bread, soup or pasta sauce. Plus I know a lot of sugar free recipes! I think the hardest part for me will be changing or cutting out my after dinner snacks – at the moment I eat some chocolate or dates or peanut butter mixed with maple syrup and cacao powder. I expect to have some serious cravings without it!!
Here are my goals for Sugar Free February
- No added sugars or dried fruit – that means that delicious sweet treats like the one in the picture (made with dates) are off the table.
- Up to 2 portions of fresh fruit per day – some sugar free diets recommend that you cut out fruit, but I think that fruit is full of nutrients and contains fiber to slow down the absorption of the sugars into your blood stream. Fruit makes me happy (just ask my boyfriend how excited I get when I made a watermelon birthday cake or I see fruit on offer at the supermarket). It would be hell for me to cut it out completely. I think that only 2 portions a day is going to be enough of a challenge- sometimes I have 3 or 4 just at breakfast (e.g. banana oats with warm berries or a smoothie)!
- Write a blog post on ‘Resources for Sugar Free February’ to explain more about what going sugar free means and how to do it. (Edit 2/2/2018 – I never wrote a whole blog post, but I have linked some resources at the bottom!)
- Write an accountability blog post with my experience each week.
- Post one sugar free recipe each week.
- If I’m eating out I will try and pick something that I think wouldn’t have added sugar, but it’s impossible to be 100% sure there’s no sugar, so I won’t worry too much. I want to improve my health not be unable to eat out or develop an unhealthy relationship with food/sugar.
Sugar Free for Charity
Sugar Free February is an initiative run by Cancer Research UK. I have been incredibly fortunate and none of my close family or friends have been diagnosed with cancer, although I do know some people who’s lives have been affected. For that reason I don’t feel particularly close to that charity.
I am going to raise money for a charity in Sheffield that helps homeless people. There seem to be an astonishing number of homeless people in Sheffield. On my 12 minute walk to work I get asked for money from a homeless person at least 5 times – if not more depending on which way I walk! I’ve only given money a handful of times, but I want to do something to help.
Since I have only just decided (about 10 minutes prior to my chocolate overdose) to commit to Sugar Free February, I haven’t chosen the specific charity, but I will let you know as soon as I do. I’d rather take some time to choose a credible charity than pick one after a quick Google search this evening!
Every time I cheat in Sugar Free February I will donate £5 to the charity! I will set up a page so you can donate online if you want to support my sugar free challenge- watch this space in the next few days.
Are you taking part in Sugar Free February?
Or what are your thoughts on going sugar free? Do you have any tips for me?
SUGAR FREE FEBRUARY POSTS (ongoing update)
No Added Sugar Recipes
Week 1 Recipe: Easy homemade oat cakes
Week 2 Recipes: What I ate in a day – ingredients included
Week 3 Recipe: No fail pancakes (vegan, gluten-free, sugar free)
The ULTIMATE LIST of sugar free snacks (added 2018)
Check the Healthy & Psyched Facebook page for daily tips throughout February